Used chewing gum used to create medical tests

Girl Bubble Gum Social

Single-use rapid medical tests, known as lateral flow tests (LFT), have been crafted using a range of recycled materials, including discarded chewing gum, according to video that Reuters shared on social media on March 27.  

With the goal of combating the staggering 18,000 tons of plastics generated annually for rapid LFT testing, research team from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, U.K., in collaboration with U.K.-based firm Great Central Plastics, has developed five prototype LFT devices.  

Only a small fraction of plastics employed in medical testing undergo recycling, primarily due to challenges related to sorting and the risk of contamination. The team aims to address this issue using necessary machinery and expertise to shift the industry.  

In addition to repurposing used chewing gum, the team has created LFTs using four sustainable plastics, including recycled refrigerator parts. They have received approval to test their prototypes to ensure their performance matches that of existing LFTs. 

Check out the video below.

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